For the vibrant overseas Filipino worker community residing in Dubai, the opportunity to participate in the democratic process back in their homeland is not just a privilege but a cherished responsibility. Overseas voter registration for Filipinos in Dubai opens doors to engagement in Philippine elections, allowing them to have a say in the nation’s future, no matter how many miles separate them from home.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the crucial aspects of overseas voter registration in Dubai, ensuring that every eligible Filipino expatriate is well-informed and empowered to exercise their right to vote. Join us on this journey as we unravel the steps, requirements, and significance of registering as an overseas voter in the vibrant and diverse city of Dubai.
Historically, the overseas Filipino community in the UAE has exhibited a remarkable surge in voter participation, with numbers soaring by almost 50 percent since the last presidential elections held in 2016.
This significant increase has catapulted the UAE into the spotlight as the most densely populated source of votes for the 2022 Philippine elections.
With the UAE’s overseas Filipino voters now constituting a substantial 17 percent of the estimated 1.7 million overseas Filipino voters worldwide, their collective voice and choice have provided substantial influence on the outcome of the latest national elections in the Philippines.
This growing engagement in the democratic process from afar underscores the deep-rooted commitment of Filipinos in Dubai and the UAE to shaping the future of their homeland.
Philippine (Midterm) Election – May 13, 2025
The upcoming May 2025 Philippine Senate election marks a significant moment in the nation’s democratic calendar as it represents the 35th election for members of the Senate of the Philippines, each serving a six-year term.
Set to be held on May 13, 2025, this election will determine the fate of the 12 senators who were originally elected in 2019, generating anticipation and speculation about potential contestants for these coveted seats.
The senators elected in this crucial election will take on their roles with the responsibility of shaping the country’s legislative landscape until June 30, 2031.
Additionally, they will collaborate with the senators elected in 2022, whose tenure lasts until June 30, 2028, to collectively form the Senate’s delegation to the 20th Congress of the Philippines.
This election will unfold concurrently with other vital elections, including those for the House of Representatives and local officials above the barangay level, underscoring its pivotal role in shaping the nation’s political future.
Qualifications / Eligibility
- Filipino Citizenship:
- You must be a Filipino citizen, either by birth or naturalization.
- Residency Status:
- You should be abroad or will be abroad during the 30-day voting period, which for the upcoming election is from April 13, 2025, to May 12, 2025.
- Age Requirement:
- You must be at least 18 years old on May 12, 2025, the day of the election.
- No Disqualifications:
- You must not be otherwise disqualified by laws governing voter eligibility in the Philippines.
Who Are Disqualified?
Certain conditions may disqualify you from voting in overseas elections. Here are the disqualifications you should be aware of:
- Loss of Filipino Citizenship:
- If you have lost your Filipino citizenship in accordance with Philippine laws, you are disqualified from voting.
- Pledged Allegiance to a Foreign Country:
- Individuals who have expressly renounced their Philippine citizenship or pledged their allegiance to a foreign country, with the exception of dual citizens as defined under Republic Act 9225, are disqualified.
- Criminal Conviction:
- Those who have been convicted by a court or tribunal with a final judgment for an offense punishable by imprisonment of not less than one year are disqualified. However, this disability can be removed through plenary pardon or amnesty. If you are disqualified under this subsection, you can regain the right to vote after five (5) years following the completion of your sentence.
- Declared Insane or Incompetent:
- Any citizen of the Philippines residing abroad who has been previously declared insane or incompetent by a competent authority in the Philippines or abroad, as verified by Philippine Embassy, consulates, or Foreign Service establishments concerned, is disqualified. This disqualification can be lifted if the competent authority subsequently certifies that you are no longer insane or incompetent.
To register as an overseas voter, you need to gather the following documents and fulfill certain criteria:
- Original and Photocopy of Valid Philippine Passport:
- Ensure your Philippine passport is up-to-date.
- Make a photocopy of the passport’s pertinent pages for submission.
- In the Absence of a Valid Passport:
- If you don’t have a valid passport, obtain a certification from the foreign service post.
- The certification should confirm that the foreign service post has reviewed your documents and found them sufficient to warrant a passport issuance. Alternatively, it should state that you are a valid passport holder but cannot produce it for a valid reason.
- For Seafarers:
- If you work as a seafarer, include a photocopy of your Seaman’s Book or any other relevant document that proves your seafaring status. This should be submitted in addition to the passport or certification mentioned in points 1 and 2.
- Dual Citizens:
- If you hold dual citizenship, submit your Dual Citizenship certificate or the Order of Approval (both original and photocopy) along with the documents from points 1 or 2.
- Personal Appearance:
- In most cases, personal appearance is required to capture your biometrics. This step ensures the accuracy and security of the registration process.
- Duly Filled Out OVF 1 Form:
- Complete the Overseas Voting Form 1 (OVF 1). You can find the form on the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) website at this link.
Note: Registered overseas voters with complete biometric data may also utilize the Office for Overseas Voting’s (OFOV) Virtual Frontline Services (VFS) for certain types of applications.
Transfer of Registration: If you need to transfer your registration from your overseas post to a Philippine Municipality, City, or District, you should file your application at the local Office of the Election Officer in the area where you intend to vote in the Philippines. Be sure to adhere to the rules and regulations governing local voter registration for this process.
How to Register Online for Overseas Voting Philippines
Step 1: Gather the Necessary Documents
- Ensure you have a valid Philippine passport.
- For dual citizens, Dual Citizenship Documents are acceptable. Seafarers should have their Seaman’s Book ready.
Step 2: Fill Out the Application Form
- Visit the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) website, which provides an online application form called iRehistro for Overseas Voters Version 18.104.22.168.
- Use this platform to fill out the required information and generate the OVF1 form, complete with a QR code.
Step 3: Submit the Application Form
- Once you’ve encoded all the necessary details and generated the OVF1 form, save it as a PDF file on your device.
- Print the PDF on an A4-sized sheet of paper. This printout serves as your OVF1 form.
- Personally submit the printed OVF1 form to the nearest Overseas Voting (OV) registration site. This is a critical step in processing your voter registration application.
It’s important to note that this registration process is mandated by the Philippine Overseas Voting Act, overseen by the Office for Overseas Voting (OFOV), and governed by R.A. 9189 (amended by R.A. 10590). If you are an overseas Filipino worker (OFW), you have the opportunity to cast your vote from your host country.
How to Register OFW Voting at the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai
- Set up an appointment by clicking on this link: https://tinyurl.com/DubaiPCG-OVS.
- On the day of your appointment, make sure to bring a copy of your passport and the completed OV registration form.
How to Vote as an OFW in Dubai – 3 Ways
Voting in Person using a Vote Count Machine (VCM)
Step 1: Confirm Your Registration
- Ensure your name is registered on the Certified List of Overseas Voters (CLOV), which will be posted by the Philippine mission in Dubai at least 120 days before the election period. Once your registration is confirmed, prepare your documents for the election.
Step 2: Schedule Your Vote
- Schedule a day to vote at the Philippine foreign post (embassy or consulate) in Dubai. Be aware of the specified time frame for overseas voters’ accommodation.
Important: Check the website or social media pages of the Philippine foreign post for health and safety protocols and follow them during the election period.
Step 3: Cast Your Vote
- Upon arrival at the polling site, you will receive a ballot, a secrecy folder, and a pen.
- Proceed to a voting booth and shade the ovals corresponding to your chosen candidates and party-list.
- Hand your completed ballot to the Special Board of Elections Inspectors (SBIEs) for processing.
- The machine will produce a receipt, which you should place in a designated box.
Voting in Person – Manual
Step 1: Verify Your Registration
- Check the Certified List of Overseas Voters (CLOV) posted by the Philippine mission in Dubai at least 120 days before the election period. Once verified, prepare your documentary requirements for voting.
Step 2: Go to the Voting Location
- Visit the designated Post Office or other approved voting locations in Dubai.
- Present your valid passport or ID to the Electoral Board.
- Provide your name and address for verification.
Step 3: Cast Your Vote
- After verification, sign and affix your thumbmark to the List of Abroad Voters with Voting Records (OVF No. 2-A).
- Receive a ballot and use a ballot secrecy folder to fill it out.
- Fold the ballot as received and return it to the Poll Clerk, who will deposit it in the ballot box.
- Supervision of the voting and vote counting is overseen by SBIEs.
Voting by Post Mail
Step 1: Receive Your Ballot
- If you choose to vote by mail, expect to receive an envelope containing the Official Ballot, Certified List of Candidates, Instructions to Voters, Official Ballot envelope, and Paper Seals. You will need to complete this process independently.
Step 2: Complete and Seal the Ballot
- Fill out the Official Ballot and place it in the “Ballot Envelope,” ensuring it remains undamaged.
- In the designated section of the “Ballot Envelope,” write your full name and sign it, then seal it with a paper seal.
Step 3: Submit Your Ballot
- You have the option to mail or physically deliver your sealed ballot to the Post Office.
- Mail your ballot as early as possible to ensure it arrives at the Post Office on or before the specified deadline.
Note: Field voting centers or mobile voting centers may be available for a limited number of days.
Voting for Seafarers
Seafarers can vote at any Post that uses personal voting or, in the case of postal voting, at any Post with international seaports recognized and endorsed by the Department of Foreign Affairs-Overseas Voting Secretariat (DFA-OVS). Ensure you follow the respective procedures for your chosen voting method.
Philippine Consulate General in Dubai (PCG-Dubai)
Address: 851 Beirut St, Al Qusais 3, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Contact number: +971 4 220 7100
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/PHinDubai
Monday to Thursday: 7:30 am to 3:30 pm
Friday: 7:30 am to 12:00 noon
Google Map Location
Map guide to the PCG Dubai office in Al Qusais, Dubai, UAE: